Originally, Mum and I were suppose to take Seri to the zoo while her parents had a nice little weekend getaway, but the little girl's allergies were giving her a really hard time last week, so we switched to the children's museum. Well, everything was working out as planned...
As soon as I enter the house, I am immediately told (by the 3-year-old who is still in her pj's) to come and sit down so that she can paint my nails. I make ooo's and ahh's over how beautimus they look, while simultaneously keeping the polish from spilling on the floor.
After my now two-toned nails have dried, I tell Seri that we have donuts for breakfast, the powder sugar kind, and convince her to stay at the table while she is eating them. I say "at the table" because she will not remain seated and constantly keeps one foot on the floor. By the time she is finished, there is a sugar mustache around her lips, on the chair and in little clouds on the floor. Seri then begins running around the house screaming because the sugar has kicked in. Man that stuff works fast.
Finally, Seri is dressed and I have successfully convinced her to wear her sandals, that they will go much better with her sun dress, instead of her snow boots. She asks me if we are going somewhere. We are just about to walk out the door when Mum has a realization. The car seat, just so happens to be sitting at her house where she left it, which is about 45 minutes away. We look everywhere in hopes of finding a spare one. We call Tommy and Liz so nicely disturbing their break away from everything in hopes that a close by friend has one that we can borrow. Finally, Mum decides to just teach herself a lesson and drive the full 1 hr. 30 mins round trip to retrieve the car seat. Before she leaves we must take a few or twenty minutes to try and explain to the little girl exactly why she can't go in the car with Ema. We finally persuade her to stay with me and do a fashion show while Ema is away. First we have to explain what a fashion show is..."you dress up in all your princess clothes and walk down the hall and twirl and dance and stuff to music while I take your picture." She likes this idea very much.
I find a music station on the tv and the fashion show starts and she is twirling and whirling about while I say "lovely, darling. Just beautiful. I'm loving it!" and such, while snapping pictures. After each outfit she says, "I want to see" and I have to show her how her pictures came out. During one particular jaunt down the catwalk a different song starts playing and some of the lyrics include "kissing boys" and other inappropriate content. I frantically change the station while trying to distract her with more oo's and ah's. As soon as I change the station, she stops her posing and says, "can you turn it back to that song about kissing?" Inside I am completely horrified thinking that her parents are really going to have my head this time, but I maintain a casual disinterested face and talk about finding a station with country music.
The next performance ends with her saying that she is going to wait in this outfit because it is so fabulous that she wants to show Ema when she gets back. Next, the decision is to watch a Hello Kitty DVD, but not on the big TV, on her dad's Mac Book. I pick up the Mac Book and my vision goes blurry with panic because I cannot figure out how to insert the DVD. The 3-year-old says, "I know how to do it" and proceeds to cram the DVD into a barely visible slit in the side of the computer, followed by a decidedly disturbing sound. I begin to hyperventilate, but suddenly the image of Hello Kitty appears on screen. I look down at the innocent, smiling Seri Beth.
The phone rings while I am making Seri a sandwich and its her dad inquiring about the car seat and if we'd found one yet. I tell him about Mum going home to get it, and he tells me that we really should not have gone through all that trouble, and to just let Seri play outside with the sprinkler for awhile. I agree with him, but it is too late now because Mum is halfway home already. I set up the sprinkler anyway.
Seri is having a ball, not actually from playing in the sprinkler, but in the mud puddles that are now cropping up in the yard. She wants me to play in the puddles too. I remember that the only clothes I brought (intended for an outing to the children's museum) are the ones I have on. I roll my pants up and gingerly step into the puddles while Seri wholeheartedly leaps into them. I make the mistake of letting Seri's puppy out to play with us. Now in addition to the puddle splashes I have muddy paw prints on my clothes. The dog then rolls in the mud. The once white, now decidedly brown dog starts making a mad dash for me. I decide to put the dog back in her crate, holding her at arms length in front of me while she is gyrating spastically.
Out in the yard again Seri is beginning to look a little pink from the sun. I guilty note that I should have put sunscreen on her and I let her know that its time to go inside. She looks up at me from her play and says, "but I'm a princess on a journey." I suggest that maybe her ladyship can journey to the inside of the house. This works and we tip toe through the house directly to the bathtub. She suddenly asks in a whisper, "Why are we tip toeing? Is someone asleep?"
About the time that Mum gets back, Liz and Tommy walk through the door. Seri asks, "Are we GOING somewhere?" as she has done so throughout the day, each time laced with more exasperation than the last. Mum and I decide to take Seri to the children's museum despite how late it is. After a couple of wrong turns, accompanied by "Whoa!" from the little girl and the responding, "Yeah, Aunt Cory drives a little differently than Ema," coming from the back seat, we finally arrive at the original point of our destination.
At this time it is 3:30 in the afternoon. We walk up to the desk to get our tickets and the nice man behind it says that the museum will close at 4:00 pm. Silence. Mum and I just look at each other for a minute. The same disgruntled expression mirrored on each face. The man lets us into the museum free of charge, and we teased Seri with 25 minutes of play time in the coolest tree house I've ever seen. I've no idea how we got her out of there by closing time. Must have been the prayers, promises to come back and/or bribe of going to get ice cream afterwards.
I was hoping the day was not disappointing to Seri, but as we were leaving the museum (her between Mum and I, each of her little hands in one of ours) she said, "We had a good day today, didn't we."